Tuesday, 26 May 2009

The Only Constant is Change...

Last week I took a class on Organizational Change Management at Southern Methodist University. It was a good class, with a great professor and a very aggressive agenda. Know what I learned? It’s about the people!

Organizations love to talk about how their human resources are their biggest asset, blah, blah, blah. But most organizations want to focus only on the positives: talent, teamwork, and training. What I learned about change management was that successful change initiatives differ from unsuccessful ones because they deal with all the “messy” people issues: fears, insecurities, hurt feelings, defeats.

Successful change management means identifying who the organizational “losers” are, whether those losses are real or imagined, individuals or teams, and helping them come to terms with those feelings.

Successful change management means helping those who have gained from the change to transition into new roles, while supporting their peers, who may be hurting.

And finally, successful change management means planning for and communication how things will work in the morass between the way things used to be and the new world order, before the old culture has been fully retired and the new culture has been indoctrinated. Successful change management means knowing that people and processes will go off the rails in times of stress, and preparing for it, not hoping that everyone just figures it out.

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